What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working is a phrase that is currently getting a lot of traction. With lockdown restrictions easing, there are big questions on whether people will return to the workplace, remain at home, or a mixture of both. This is where hybrid working comes in. There are big names on either side of the office fence, but what does it mean for your business?
As the time between enforced home working and a return to normal narrows, we are presented with a unique opportunity to assess our workplaces. Take the time to speak to your employees and understand what they would like moving forwards. Not only could this be the chance to adapt and improve our physical workspaces, but also nurture employee wellbeing and a positive workplace culture.
The majority of companies seem to be adopting a flexible approach. People are opting to spend part of the time working at home and part of the time working in the office, but this brings it’s own logistical problems.
Two working locations means two DSE assessments are required, which means double the workload in terms of administering this for your company.
What is DSE Assessment?
The DSE assessment was introduced as part of the 1992 DSE Health and Safety regulations.
This guidance covers any display screen equipment (i.e. a computer) that is used for more than an hour every day. It is the responsibility of employers to make sure each employee undertakes an assessment to see if that equipment is a potential risk and could cause muscular skeletal issues in the long term.
The guidance has been updated throughout this year to support businesses with staff working at home. The HSE has recently expanded its advice to confirm that members of staff should now have a DSE assessment both in the home and in the office.
You can find out more about DSE assessment process here.
What options are available?
For smaller companies it’s possible to just use a simple online form, and get all your employees to fill this out and then you can review the form and decide what needs to be done from there. The downside of this is that you have to send out each form and review them individually, and create an action plan if necessary.
However, bigger companies might be daunted at the prospect of arranging assessments for all their staff and reviewing each one. Even more so if if they are now working in the office and at home. This is where our online workstation assessment system can help as it takes care of all the administration and reporting.
Introduction to the online workstation assessment system
Posture People have partnered with Ergopro for several years now, recommending their system to many of our clients. To help with the current situation they’ve recently launched a hybrid working module, which helps to manage the new way of working.
Ergopro prides itself of providing a ‘with a unique set of tools that will reduce the resource and cost associated with administering your DSE risk assessment and compliance programme’.
We had a chat with Iain Brogden of Ergopro to understand a bit more about the system in general, and why they developed their new hybrid working module:
What is Ergopro, and what kind of businesses is the online workstation assessment system designed to help?
ErgoPro is an online training and risk assessment toolset, designed to help organisations manage their DSE risk and responsibilities. Any organisation with more than 5 staff using display screen equipment will benefit from using ErgoPro to manage the rollout of training and DSE risk assessment.
For larger organisations, the time savings can be considerable because ErgoPro manages the process of sending out assessments and reminding staff to complete the process. It even coaches staff to self-resolve common problems by sending and tracking additional guidance.
What is the new hybrid working module and why did Ergopro develop it?
The way we work has undergone rapid transformation over the last year, with large segments of the workforce working from home during unprecedented lockdown periods. Staff have had to quickly adapt to changes in where they work. In many cases this has driven new ways of working that are here to stay. Organisations have found remote working to be productive, but it’s important to stay on top of collaboration, learning and importantly, wellbeing.
In addition, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has expanded its guidance to say that all members of staff should have a DSE assessment both in the home and in the office.
The ErgoPro Hybrid Working module has been designed for flexible working arrangements and covers DSE training and risk assessment for people working from office and home environments. There are extra sections for those driving for work and working from temporary locations.
What does the new module include in addition to the standard DSE modules?
The new module includes covers the same elements as the DSE module, such as visual & musculoskeletal, work routine, desk and equipment. However, the hybrid module includes section on manual handling and equipment and electrical safety for home workers. There is also a keeping in touch module including first aid and accident reporting, as well as a new driving risks element.
Staff only complete the sections relevant to them, based on initial questions about their own work. This means you can send the Hybrid Working module to all staff and ErgoPro will ensure they receive the correct information and risk assessment questions.